As the smell of campfire smoke mingled with the melodic plinking of a 5-string banjo, the Florida Americana Music Festival came to life. The bright, silky sounds of mandolins and fiddles danced through the trees, providing a mesmerizing soundtrack to the colorful sunsets over the rolling hills of central Florida. From April 17 to 21st, I was lucky enough to attend and perform at this breakout festival. My excitement grew as I anticipated sharing my songs and becoming part of a new tradition at the Florida Sand Music Ranch. 

Sara Stovall Photo By Ashley Feller

The Florida Americana Music Festival, organized by Foggylongbritches LLC, provided a truly unforgettable experience for all the attendees. The festival commenced with an exciting kick-off party on Wednesday at the west stage hosted by the renowned songwriter Grant Peeples. The event featured his famous mullet dinner and concert, which wowed music lovers. Grant Peeples shared his original songs and served dinner to the attendees while being joined by Sara Stovall of Passerine and festival favorite guitarist Bob Bronar for the performance. The Firewater Tent Revival was followed by an impressive performance that set the tone for the rest of the festival, which was a high-energy, good time.

2PM Band Photo By Ashley Feller

The festival continued to connect with audiences throughout the weekend with remarkable artists such as Dr. Bacon, The AppleButter Express, Passerine, 2 pm Band, Have Gun Will Travel, The Currys, and more. Every performance was stellar, and I was amazed by the sound quality of the performances on both stages. The sound engineers, JB Ritter on the east stage and Tom Ellis on the west stage know how to deliver top-notch sound to the audience, making every performance even more enjoyable. Overall, the Florida Americana Music Festival was a fulfilling experience, and I can’t wait to attend next year’s event.

Dr. Bacon Photo By Ashley Feller

The Hunger Bus stage, created by Chakulla of Hibiscus Band, was a wholesome addition to the festival. It not only functioned as a food drive but also hosted intimate performances. The festival successfully cultivated community as the artists interacted with the audience. During the festival, Remedy Tree’s band members displayed camaraderie by covering vocals beautifully for Gabriel Acevedo when he experienced temporary voice loss. It was incredible to see his bandmates sing songs he would ordinarily sing. This brought new life to familiar Remedy Tree songs while showcasing how multi-talented they are. Finally, on the closing Sunday of the festival, Greg Roy and the Pressure Band delivered a spiritually uplifting closing ceremony that left a lasting impact on the festival. The Florida Americana Music Festival was a celebration of authentic expression that fostered new friendships and created an extraordinary event for all who participated and attended.

Have Gun Will Travel Photo By Ashley Feller

In addition to the musical performances, there was an assortment of activities. Attendees could participate in relaxing yoga sessions by Supriya, showcase their talents during open mic events on the west stage, or enjoy impromptu late-night jams in the campsites. These supplementary activities added depth to the festival experience and offered opportunities for engagement beyond the main stage performances.

The festival was extraordinary and memorable, thanks to the presence of many regional vendors and artisans. These small businesses brought with them a wide range of delicious food and crafts that truly spoke to the talents and creativity of the region. From savory dishes to sweet treats and even mocktails made with fresh-cut herbs! There was something for everyone to enjoy and savor. The crafts on display were equally impressive, including tie-dye clothing, art pieces, and cigar box instruments, with each item showcasing the skills and personalities of its creator. It was evident that their presence was appreciated by all those who attended, and their contributions helped to make the event a true success.

The park amenities were quite impressive. The concession stand had various food options, and the ice was always available. The restrooms were well-maintained and clean, which made our camping experience much more comfortable. Additionally, the park was easy to navigate. Despite the size of the grounds, there was little of a walk to the stages from most campsites. Seeing everyone’s creativity in their campsite decor was also enjoyable, creating a lively and fun atmosphere. Overall, the park amenities added to our experience and made it a fantastic time.

2PM Band Photo By Ashley Feller

The Florida Americana Music Festival offers an enchanting experience for music enthusiasts. Set amidst the natural beauty of the multi-acre Florida Sand Music Ranch, attendees can escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of authentic Americana. The festival provides a platform for self-expression and celebrates Florida. As the festival looks to the future, there is potential for growth while maintaining its focus on intimacy and deep connection to its Florida roots. With its commitment to showcasing the best in Americana music and providing an authentic community, the Florida Americana Music Festival is poised to become a must-attend event for music lovers everywhere.

To learn more about the upcoming Florida Winter Music Festival, which will take place from November 7 to 10, 2024, visit Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this unforgettable experience that combines music, nature, and a strong sense of community.